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Left Ventricular Assist Device as a Bridge to Recovery for Patients With Advanced Heart Failure

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Djordje JakovljevicORCiD, Dr Guy MacGowanORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


Background: Left ventricular assist devices (LVADs) have been used as an effective therapeutic option in patients with advanced heart failure, either as a bridge to transplantation, as destination therapy or in some patients as a bridge-to-recovery. Objective: The present study evaluated whether patients undergoing an LVAD bridge-to-recovery protocol can achieve cardiac and physical functional capacities equivalent to those of healthy controls. Methods: Fifty-eight male patients, 18 implanted with a continuous flow LVAD, 16 LVAD explanted (recovered) patients and 24 heart transplant candidates (HTx), and 97 healthy controls performed a maximal graded cardiopulmonary exercise test with continuous measurements of respiratory gas exchange and noninvasive (rebreathing) haemodynamic data. Cardiac function was represented by peak exercise cardiac power output (mean arterial blood pressure x cardiac output) and functional capacity by peak exercise O2 consumption. Results: All patients demonstrated a significant exertional effort as demonstrated with the mean peak exercise respiratory exchange ratio >1.10. Peak exercise cardiac power output was significantly higher in healthy controls and explanted LVAD compared with other patients (healthy, 5.35±0.95; explanted, 3.45±0.72; LVAD implanted, 2.37±0.68; HTx, 1.31±0.31 watts, p<0.05), as was peak O2 consumption (healthy, 36.4±10.3; explanted, 29.8±5.9; implanted, 20.5±4.3; HTx, 12.0±2.2, p<0.05). In the LVAD explanted group 38% of the patients achieved peak cardiac power output and 69% achieved peak O2 consumption within the ranges of healthy controls. Conclusion: We have shown for the first time that a substantial number of patients who recovered sufficiently to allow explantation of their LVAD can even achieve cardiac and physical functional capacities nearly equivalent to those of healthy controls.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Jakovljevic DG, Yacoub MH, Schueler S, MacGowan AG, Velicki L, Seferovic PM, Hothi S, Tzeng BT, Brodie DA, Birks EJ, Tan LB

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of the American College of Cardiology

Year: 2017

Volume: 69

Issue: 15

Pages: 1924-1933

Print publication date: 18/04/2017

Online publication date: 10/04/2017

Acceptance date: 06/02/2017

Date deposited: 16/02/2017

ISSN (print): 0735-1097

ISSN (electronic): 1558-3597

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.02.018


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Funder referenceFunder name
MR/L016354/1Medical Research Council (MRC)